Every year the world ends up getting a billion colds and 1/5 of people get the flu. Adults average two to three colds per year while the numbers even higher for kids. Colds are caused by viruses such as Adenovirus Rhinovirus and others. Flu is caused by the Influenza Virus. In both cases they don’t respond to antibiotics, meaning they don’t respond to antibacterial medications. And on a side note, people often use the term stomach flu to describe an illness causing stomach symptoms. But this is not an accurate term because the influenza virus does not cause the stomach flu.
It’s actually caused by other viruses or bacteria. Into making a little more confusing, getting the flu meaning the influenza virus often causes gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting. In addition to the other flu symptoms such as fever and body aches. There are different types of influenza viruses. Type A and Type B, there’s subtypes of Influenza A like h1n1 and h3n2. And there are rare types of Swine Flu in avian flu.
How Flu Spreads | How Cold Spreads The main way that both colds and flu spread from one person to another is through droplets that infect people spray when they coughed and sneeze and kissing is another form of transmission. It can also be spread when a person touches pretty much any surface that accumulated droplets from a sick person and then they end up touching their faces. So these surfaces could be someone’s hand or a doorknob or light switch, money, Keys, phones, gas pumps, remote controls, toilets, etc. Viruses and bacteria can live on services for two hours or more. The flu is much more seasonal than colds, mainly from November to March.
What are the symptoms of the flu and what are the symptoms of a cold? There is an overlap between flu symptoms and cold symptoms. For example, both can have congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. If there is a fever it’s almost always gonna be the flu. Especially if that fever reaches 102 – 104 range. Body aches in exhaustion are also more common and more severe with the flu. If there is nausea or vomiting, it’s gonna be the flu.
There are other illnesses that cause symptoms similar to that of the cold of the flu. For example, bronchitis is an infection of the bronchial tubes or the bronchial tree. The bronchial tubes carry air into and out of your lungs and are caused by the same virus is that cause. The common cold bronchitis can develop as part of a cold or all by itself. With bronchitis, you get soreness in your chest in a bad cough. Sometimes there’s fever and chills bronchitis usually goes away on its own. It’s almost always caused by a virus. Less than 10 percent of the time it’s caused by bacteria then there’s pneumonia.
Pneumonia is a broad term that refers to an inflammation within the lung. The most common type of pneumonia is infectious pneumonia, which is most commonly caused by bacteria but it can also be caused by viruses. Causes of Pneumonia: Pneumonia causes fever, cough with nasty Phlegm, difficulty breathing, chest pain associated with it and there can be evidence of pneumonia visible on either chest x-ray or CT scan.
How a Doctor Diagnoses the Flu? A doctor can sometimes make the diagnosis by simply Iidentfy your symptoms and taking into consideration whether or not the flu is going around. Other times testing for the flu helps make a diagnosis by doing its nose and throat swap. Doctors will especially want to test you if you fall to any of the following categories
- If you have a compromised immune system
- If you have a normal immune system but you’re at risk for severe disease for example if you have a medical condition like COPD, Asthma, Chronic kidney disease, Congestive heart failure, or something like that.
- If you’re admitted to the hospital with an acute febrile respiratory disease.
This is probably because flu patients in the hospital need to be isolated from other patients to prevent transmission of flu from one patient to another. When doctors do the nose and throat swap, doctors can test the swap in two different ways.
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